……European authorities are trying to create a new image of mass unemployment, a reduced welfare state, and worsening income distribution as the new normal for Europe, just as stagnant wages and sharply rising inequality became the norm in the post-1980 U.S. economy. In their narrative, the electoral gains of right-wing, anti-immigrant, and racist parties are due to “anti-European” sentiment; in this one term they lump valid criticisms — from across the political spectrum — of the neoliberal straitjacket they have constructed for the eurozone. But it is their own policies and the resulting damage that has moved, for example, French workers to vote for the National Front.
There is no economic reason for Europeans to surrender to a political agenda that has already subjected them to a serious long-term economic failure.But, to reject such a program, they will need progressive governments that are strong enough to implement practical alternatives at the national level. It will be a race against time to see if these efforts can succeed before more structural damage is done.
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